Song of the Day #1,596: ‘Most of the Time’ – Bob Dylan

When this song came up in the random rotation, I was certain I’d featured it before. But apart from a cover version by a hot chick on a ukulele, I have not.

‘Most of the Time’ is Exhibit A (or maybe Exhibit B, with ‘Man in the Long Black Coat’ as Exhibit A) of the wonders Danial Lanois worked for Bob Dylan on the 1989 album Oh Mercy.

The album was viewed as a comeback after several mediocre releases in the mid- to late-80s. Lanois, recommended to Dylan by Bono, crafted a sound that was new for Dylan — free of the quickly-dated excesses of his other 80s output.

These songs were bathed in gloomy atmosphere, and Dylan’s voice — still relatively strong at that point — sounded better than it had in years.

Oh Mercy was my first “new” Dylan album. To that point I had only heard his classic 60s and 70s output. This record was wonderful in an entirely different way, and I think it cemented my Dylan fandom as a living and evolving thing rather than just devotion to an historic relic.

Most of the time
I’m clear focused all around
Most of the time
I can keep both feet on the ground
I can follow the path, I can read the signs
Stay right with it when the road unwinds
I can handle whatever I stumble upon
I don’t even notice she’s gone
Most of the time

Most of the time
It’s well understood
Most of the time
I wouldn’t change it if I could
I can make it all match up, I can hold my own
I can deal with the situation right down to the bone
I can survive, I can endure
And I don’t even think about her
Most of the time

Most of the time
My head is on straight
Most of the time
I’m strong enough not to hate
I don’t build up illusion ’til it makes me sick
I ain’t afraid of confusion no matter how thick
I can smile in the face of mankind
Don’t even remember what her lips felt like on mine
Most of the time

Most of the time
She ain’t even in my mind
I wouldn’t know her if I saw her
She’s that far behind
Most of the time
I can’t even be sure
If she was ever with me
Or if I was with her

Most of the time
I’m halfway content
Most of the time
I know exactly where it went
I don’t cheat on myself, I don’t run and hide
Hide from the feelings that are buried inside
I don’t compromise and I don’t pretend
I don’t even care if I ever see her again
Most of the time

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,596: ‘Most of the Time’ – Bob Dylan

  1. Dana says:

    Very good song from a very good album. I think his voice was declining in range by this point, but he kept within his new range, and lord knows the voice has diminished since!

  2. Andrea Katz says:

    This is a good song for someone else…but for me this does not compare to the depth of the poetry of those 60’s and 70’s Dylan brilliant works. A shadow of his brilliance but for someone else it would be just fine.

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